Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving...........

Greetings from Casa de Cuckoo.


Hope your holiday is smooth sailingly calm and fun lovingly sweet.

Our Thanksgiving this year is looking to be a Baby Bear kinda event for us.............just right.

I must wish my Sweet Man a Happy Anniversary. It's been 42 years of putting up with each other and having the best somebody to lean on. Here's to the next year of being together. We truly do deserve each other, and after doing this for so long, well it's pretty easy really.

After the rancid turkey fiasco of '12 and the "this wasn't Thanksgiving" casserole of '13......we did what any lazy and loving family would do. Have someone else do the work. Dinner will be prepared by Boston Market and we'll pick it up and warm it in the afternoon of Turkey day. This was orchestrated by the whole nest of Cuckoos and approved by each and every one. Sweet Man has to work and won't be home until after 6, the kids wanted Shelley and I to be free and able to set up the Holiday Tree since Shelley has the day off and frankly, I love the plan.

I can make myself crazy later in with cooking two very important meals, a Winter Solstice feast and then Christmas supper. So I can get my Martha Stewart on then. Besides, doing what feels right is more important than what is totally dictated by others. Oh don't get me wrong, I love tradition, I just don't feel that I have to be a slave to it. I may live in my Momma's house but she doesn't make the rules anymore. And so that wild and crazy, rule breaking kinda attitude will apply to yet another seasonal endeavor.

Which brings me to the meat and potatoes (couldn't resist) of why I am posting today. Because you notice it has been awhile.

We are celebrating the Christmas season this year. What????? That is just cra cra.

I mean there is Christmasing, decorating, making, fixing, observing and HO Ho HO coming out of the Casa. It is virtually ooooooozing outta our pores.

For the entire time that the grands and Ms. S have been back here, which would be 5 years and some months, I have been the court jester and jumping around trying to make merry, my daughter has been "reserved", and that's putting it mildly. Ms. S has had a hard time finding her Jolly Holly. Oh, she has put on a great face for the kids and has never kept them from celebrating a single thing, but the spirit of the season underneath has been....uh....forced. But not this year.

Ms. S actually surprised shocked us with her new found happy. It comes from knowing who she is and what she has accomplished and also forgiving herself for things over which she has no control. This has set her free. She has plans.....for decorating, cooking, celebrating and it is kinda scary, if you get my drift. GK asked me if her Mom was okay, I answered, "yes, finally". So officially, the holdiay season has begun for us with a no holds barred kinda flavor. Thus the plans for an early Christmas tree decorating event, along with new ornament making, and cookie baking when most folks are fixing giblets and stuffing.

Update on the grands:

GK will be having her friends over for an ugly sweater party, but with a twist. Instead of wasting money buying something that they will never wear again, the guests will be given newsprint and markers when they arrive and will be asked to draw their ugly sweater. They will also be asked to donate $10 (which is probably less than they would have had to pay for said ugliness) which will then be given to the UNM Children's hospital. That way they will have fun and give a donation to something more..... .. Proud of them for the thought of giving not getting.

GK and her nerd herd pals got together earlier this month (the six of them go to 4 different high schools). They have this pact that they will not lose track of each other and so they will be going to the amusement park here during Holiday break for a night of craziness. So happy that she has good kids as friends and they all are like minded about staying in touch. I have always been envious of folks who made the effort to stay friends with folks from their past. It is an enviable thing to have that kind of stick to it - ness.

Ry and I have a strange source to thank this Thanksgiving. Had it not been for Ry's earlier uncomfortableness and school problems that came from his fear of speaking to his dad, he and I would not have spent quality time together without anyone else around. It gave us the opportunity to talk about things that matter to him. He regaled me with all manner of Minecraft, Pokemon and Storm trooper wisdom and in between those thoughts were his feelings about his life and loves. I am blessed by knowing my grandson in a whole new way. He was blessed with finding out parts and pieces of my life as a kid and my feeling for him, his sister and their mom, Ms. S.

And all of this is thanks to someone I never would have thought I would be thankful towards, not in a million years. Thanks to Darren and Tara, without your actions I would never have had the opportunity to become even more invested and closer to the most wonderful special boy on the face of the planet.

Yep, we have it happening here at the Casa.

So get your turkey on and gobble til you wobble. Do the happy "t day" dance and shake your holiday thang.

with Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda and All the Cuckoos at the Casa

Friday, November 7, 2014

4 wheels to get me there...........

We have car fever here at Casa de Cuckoo.

Shelley and GK are getting a new car. Well not new, but new to them. It will be Shelley's transportation for awhile and then it will be GK's first car.

When dreaming of her first car, Ms. GK indicated she wanted a 60 something Volkswagen bug, of the blue color persuasion. Well if wishes were horses then GK would ride in one but....uh not so much. Although that was her "perfect car", she is thrilled about the car Mom could afford. They went to see it last night. Once again, I must state my pride in GK's ability to adapt. Someday when she can make it happen for herself, perhaps she will get the exact car she wants. And by that time, I'm sure she will have drooled over several "perfect cars".

And as is always the case, the event brought about a discussion of some length about cars and such.

 When Shelley was a teen, her first car was like this one. 1970 Datsun

My first car was like this one. 1959 Renault Dauphine (it even had a crank in the back to start it when (not if) the battery wouldn't turn over.

My favorite car was one I had in college which was an 1967 Austin Healy Sprite (only mine was yellow).

Sweet Man's first car was like this one. 1955 Oldsmobile Super

all of the photos are from the internet
When Sweet Man and I finally got to order the car of our dreams at the time, we got a 1975 Ford Fairmont Station Wagon. I was hauling Shelley's friends, the Saint Bernards, we went camping, we went on long drive vacations and this, we thought, would be the best car.  It was the perfect lemon yellow. And lived up to the color.

It was what was called in the industry a "Friday car". Built on a Friday. Cars built on Friday are 22 times more likely to have a major defect. And we caught a lucky 22 lemon slush.

When I picked it up from the dealer, a friend of ours was our salesman and he was excited for us and did all the hurry up and wait kinda things for us. We had a product called "techtor" put on the carpet so that it would resist stains and it wasn't quite dry so he put down paper floor covers for me and I proudly took possession of our car.

On the way home, Shelley told me that her side was really wet. I assured her, when we got home we would just roll down the windows and let it set in the sun to dry. Sweet Man came home early and we were going for a ride in our new car but there was about 2" of liquid on the passenger side floor. We drove it to the dealer. They checked it out and found that the radiator was not hooked up correctly and was leaking into the foot well. That was only the beginning.

That beast spent more time in the shop than in our driveway the first three months. The carberator was faulty.....three times, it was replaced. The transmission was faulty....2 times it was replaced.

I was on my way to SM's company Christmas party. I was to meet him there after work. The car stalled, for the millionth time, in my mind, in one of the busiest intersections in the city. I put on the hazzard lights, locked the doors and left it there. Yes, I got a ticket, yes, the tow truck had difficulty with the tow, yes, I was at my limit......and we have never had a Friday car again.

Oh well, it was character building right?

If you have a car, you're going to have car trouble at some point in time.

What was your first car? Was it all you thought it would be?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dinner table talk...............

Last night we had chicken n dumplings, salad and baked apples. Yep, it was yummy.


these photos are from the internet, mine never come out this pretty

Shelley had requested one of her favorite childhood foods and I was in the mood to do some cooking.  So a perfect storm of goodness came together. Funny how foods bring us comfort and memories.

We try to have dinner table talk at least twice a week. Most of the time though it is zoom in, eat and then off to homework, meetings, special projects or something else. Oh, we eat at the dinner table most nights but on the nights that we designate "time out" for the family, the dinner hour takes priority over all the other "rush about" activities.

We play a game as a conversation started that is called "your best and your worst". Not surprisingly, it often times brings up things we need to discuss or iron out. Most times it brings us closer to knowing what everyone else has lived through since our last dinner table talk. The grands are always anxious to share their "adventures". And most nights, their sharing is about all we get to listen to.

This week we were able to use our time to talk about our ancestors, predecessors and family members. It was an interesting discussion. Sweet Man talked a lot about his Dad who passed 15 years ago. SM does not often do that level of sharing so we all sat back and listened to his memories of his Dad and also his Dad's Dad. Lots of information shared and hopefully filed away in the grands for the future. Also made us realize that it has been awhile since we looked in on our land (from SM's grandmother) up in northern NM. So we will be going to check on it this Friday. Road trip.


It has already snowed up in that part of the state. I'm looking forward to seeing some new snow and maybe, if I'm lucky more sharing from SM of his childhood memories.

All of this led the Cuckoos to making a list of "foods" that the family would like to have in the coming nights and that led to more talking about how foods make you feel and remember special things. So in the near future we will have pot roast and mashed potatoes (SM), spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic toast (Ry), Orange Chicken and vegetable fried rice (GK), Pepperoni and cheese stuffed sandwiches and greek salad (Shelley) and green chile chicken enchiladas with homemade flour tortillas (me).

Ry also requested a pumpkin pie. There was a brief discussion of pies in general because it is our favorite dessert here at the Casa. And it was unanimously decided that we should eat more pie. Can't argue with the masses, tee hee.

What childhood favorites to you have? And do you have foods that make you immediately think of something  or someone special?

Have a great rest of the week, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My life, my words, my blog..............

that pretty much says it to those that want to pass judgement on life at Casa de Cuckoo with the faintest idea of the TRUTH.

You nay sayers notice your comments are not posted, nor will they ever be. Hmmmmmm.


Here is our ofrenda for Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Here's the Cuckoo bunch.......

Trick or Treating will never be a spectator sport at Casa de Cuckoo. Just saying.

The wild bunch headed out the door to claim their candy prizes.

She and he monsters......type casting I suppose.

Momma and da Boy
Hope your Halloween was spooktacular.
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thanks for the spooky ooky love..........

Jamie and Ellie practicing for the trick or treaters

this is a photo of both of my "punkin" men. one paying attention to me and waving and the other one being Joe
some spectre's hanging around in the front yard

Ry and GK had fun getting up in the tree to make this happen for Halloween
Casa de Cuckoo has been the recipients of some extra special goodies and wonderfulness as of late. The grands, as well as the grown ups appreciate the loving kindness sent our way from some of you, my lovelies.

Magic Love Crow thought that we would enjoy some "sparkles" in our lives and sent us some very beautiful jewelry and a special Fly Crow painting as well as good wishes for the season.



SunshineShelle sent her love in the form of arting goods. Paints, beads, buttons, do dads and canvases. Oh heck yeah the grands jumped on that right away. And I must be honest when I say I spirited away a couple of goodies for myself. Shelle also sent us some of her original art work. Some never made it to the table to be photographed because it lives in GK's room. Ry is using the stickers for a "present" for someone else as I type and the three generations of witchy wonderfulness here at the Casa, is well represented by the darling character dolls that we are going to dress for Samhain.




Thank you all who sent us cards, good thoughts and blessings for the season. We send them right back to all of you our lovelies, supporters and all around good eggs. I still have another pressie that has something to do with my favorite donkeys....but that's another post....soon.

Here's some photos of some of our decorations for Hallowooooooooooooooonie. I can't believe it is today. We want so badly for it to hurry up and get here and then..... poof, it's over for another year, that's a real BOOOOOOOO.

the winner of the prettiest pumpkin contest and the runner up who had an unfortunate meeting with a dis easing spirit, if you get my drift.

our fireplace for autumn

Hope you all have a fun 31st. And if you partake in Dia de Los Muertos, party on and celebrate your ancestors. We will have our offrenda and celebration on the night of the 1st and then attend the Barrio Parade of the Calacas on Sunday.

Happy Hauntings, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sometimes reality is scarier than fiction.............

Take for example the emotions of a 10 year old boy.

Better yet the emotions and behaviors of a wonderful, sweet, caring, 10 year old boy on the autism spectrum.


This darling boy sometimes is afraid of things that I don't understand, if I hadn't seen what disturbs him; bugs, textures, noises and tastes, just by looking at his angelic face, I wouldn't ever be able to see how troubled his waters truly are.  My education is ongoing daily, living life with Ry is never dull.

Now we need to add into this equation, feelings, hurts and the past.

With the addition of this element I can begin to explain how our "inside, outside, upside down thinker" went from, being bothered by having homework and that's about it, to a fear struck youngster who was no longer able to control his behaviors. Stemming, scripting, crying, and hateful outbursts were on the menu within a matter of hours. He got in trouble at school for being (out of character for him) a meanie.

All this because he was asked to think about doing the unthinkable for him, talk to his father. It scared the crap out of him and he felt trapped in the here and now.


We had tried to ease him into that situation so that we could quiet the demands being made. His sister, the great and powerful GK, managed to not only talk to her father but also voice questions and her views, and quite frankly, I as a 65 year old am not sure I could have had the guts to ask or say half of what she did. She was a rock star. She felt better having gotten it off her chest, over with and is sure she doesn't want to do it again. She tried to encourage her brother, told him she would hold his hand and we all thought he was on board to doing so in the near future, when he said he was ready to do so. Oh gawd were we way wrong.

It preyed on his mind, so much more than we ever could have imagined, his emotions and his spirit and he had a monumental melt down at school the next day. And after all the negative incidents with children being hurt at school, we can't blame the school for being careful. His therapist says that he will come back up to where he was when he is ready. But in the mean time, our Ry has suffered a huge set back and we are responsible for even allowing him to contemplate having to do what he obviously cannot do.

This happens every time he is faced with this situation. We had hoped that Ry had matured and worked enough of his stuff out so that, yes he would be affected, but like his sister, he might gain more than it would cost him in the long run. We do realize how mistaken we were.

We will simply continue to love, protect and nurture the sweet little critter. He doesn't deserve to live in fear or with something this destructive hanging over him.


Damn I hate having to tell you all this because I know how much you care for him and his well being. It was a lapse in our defense against the dark hearts.

I need to let you know that all of this happened about 2 weeks ago. Ry has been home from school for the last week because he goes to a year round school and this is one of his two 2 1/2 weeks breaks. The break has been excellent for him. We have all had such a good time with him. Trying to make him feel better about himself and the choices that he made in response to a situation. Don't think we let him get away with being a "patoot". We don't. He made his amends for his ugly actions at school and then we moved on with a new clean slate.

The photos in this blog were from an outing to the corn maze taken this last weekend. No trace of the storm in Ry's eyes in these photos and for that I am forever grateful.

Thanks lovelies, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda and the rest of the Cuckoos.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

GK's Homecoming dance.........

First, I know that you will overlook the fact that I am prejudiced when I say that GK is lovely, but she was so very beautiful in her Homecoming dress.

Sorry for the glare in the photos.....it was that time of late afternoon.



I also have to tell you about the befores and durings and afters.




The befores are kinda funny because her escort was somewhat put off to find out she had a "fancy" dress. He got a little defensive about not having a suit etc. She told him not to worry that her dress had been in her closet for 6 months, was not bought new, neither were her shoes. This was a true statement because ever since Ms. GK was little, her Mom and I have been shopping in "junque" stores and when we have found a beauty of a dress, even if it was two sizes too big, we purchased it. When she was little she played dress up a lot, as she got older, she starred in my epic parties and doings (see Oz, Wonderland and Halloween). This beauty of a dress was $15 and when we saw it we knew she would wear it to some dance or other. It just so happened that it fit perfectly for this dance. Oh, there are other dresses awaiting an opportunity to stun for little money. We are very good scouts and are prepared.

It took a little to convince her escort but afterwards he was very relieved that she is a practical girl, with some kick ass Ladies in Waiting.

The couple decided no flowers, no other money spent except the tickets. So proud. Her date did gift her with a Silverstein (one of their favorite bands, yeah, I didn't know either) bracelet. She thought that was cool, because she still has the bracelet but the flowers will be dead by now.


Her date came to meet her here. He was shaking when he came in and when he saw his date, he did a double take and then told her how beautiful she was. What a sweet guy. His Mom and Shelley took a bazillion pics of the cuties. Sweet Man gave his approval of the couple by saying how sweet they looked together and Shelley and her best friend accompanied the kids to Chili's at the end of our street. Grown ups to the bar for appetizers, kids to dinner and fun. Mom came back with a new appreciation for the job she has done raising this critter thus far. That's a beautiful thing when you can see evidence of how they have listened and learned from you as a parent.


They met 2 other couples for dinner. The voice of reason, GK, had instructed each to bring a certain amount of money so they could have tip money for the wait person. They did beautifully, gave the waitress a big tip and were ready for the fun evening ahead. Both GK and another of the boy's mothers are waitresses so they appreciated how they were treated and showed it. Go figure. When your whole living comes from your Mom and it directly depends on how hard she works, these kids have it figured out. What's that phrase, "knowing where your bread is buttered'?


Mom and friend, dropped the kids off at the dance. This wonderful man has been friends with Shelley since right after they got back here from SC. He is a true friend and loves the grands and they adore him. Told GK that since the dance was a masked ball that he had a robe for her to wear over her dress. Tee hee, he was very protective of his adopted niece. It was so sweet and caring.

The dance was dreamy, special and GK indicated they had a wonderful time. She took flat shoes to dance in, in case her feet got tired in her heels (and also because she didn't want to be taller than her date). She and this boy (you know the one who said she was too pretty to be in the advanced math class), have been a couple for 2 months now. In freshmen terms......a long time. They laugh all the time. Shelley said that she was entertained by their silliness all the way to the dance. Her friend, who isn't around teenagers all that much was a bit overwhelmed by the volume and the topics. Funny.


It took her longer today to tell us how much fun was had and who was there and what they did, than she was gone from home on Saturday night. She's a lot like her Oma, very verbose.

Hope your week is a good one.

Countdown to Halloween.........it's coming very, very soon, yay.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jameson the wonder dog, or how he looks all these months later..........

Did ya know October is Pitbull Awareness Month......Be aware not all Pitbulls, or mixes are terrible animals. The people are what have villified the breed by being horrible owners, the dogs are the victims in all of this. We have our own example of how sweet a part pit can be.

When we got our rescue dog from New Mexico Dogs last February, named; Jameson, Jimbo, Jamie, JD, Pibble Jim (as in part pitbull) and when he's in deep do do with his Momma, "Jameson Elroy", I knew he was the right dog for us but I couldn't have known how right or how much he would bring to us. I actually thought we were doing good for him, instead he has done so much more for us, both humans and pets alike.

This dog is a life saver in more ways than I can say. I can't remember him not being part of the household and he's only been here since February. And most of the time neither can he, except when one of us says or does something that his "before" people did, then his tail goes down, his floppy ears hang low and he's a sad dog.

Like the phrase, "who did this?????" I was asking the grands, Jimbo took it personal and hid from me for a couple of hours. Joe said, "okay, that's enough" to me kiddingly when I was playing a game with him, Jimbo hid from both of us until Shelley and the kids got home. And when one of the grands starts squealing because their Momma is tickling them, this poor critter just about loses his mind. He doesn't like consternation of any sort or loud noises.

Dogs like Jameson who were abused, chained, treated inhumanly, and left to die certainly suffer from PTSD. Don't you ever doubt that fact. And yet he holds no grudge against humans, instead he wants to be all things to all of us. We went through a very hard separation anxiety time period with him when he ate his way out of his crate, then another time ate the surround on the front door, but it wasn't long until we'd tell him, "you're in charge Jimbo and he'd be fine. When we leave in the morning for school, he wags his tail and runs to the living room window to watch us go. He's still in the window when I get home from errands an hour later and now he doesn't eat remotes or shoes or hairbrushes. We have had to rearrange our lives for him. We have had to adjust our thinking for his well being. We have watched the other animals in the household change for him as well.

Know what? It's all be worth it and I'd do it all over again because when this tremendous animal is happy, well there is very little else in the world that is quite as beautiful or heart warming. He never asked to be left frozen to the ground on a huge ugly chain with no food or water. The story could have ended so differently for our "pibble". But loving people made sacrifices to get him to us. He is worth it all and deserves his pampered and loved life.......but all animals do.

He sleeps under the bedcovers, knows what time it is and watches for the kids to come home, greets everyone as they come in the door with a happy face and waggy buttcheeks, even repairmen. It's the little dog, Ellie Mae that they have to be careful of when they come to work here at Casa de Cuckoo. He has a special trick he does for Shelley. She puts her hands on his muzzle, lightly blows in his nose and this makes his ears stand up. I know it is not jumping through hoops but it sure is cute. But most especially he keeps me company during the week, my constant shadow, and herds and plays with the other animals with such affection. He is all things to all of us and I'm celebrating him with you today.

Isn't he a relaxed pup now?
See how our boy has put on weight, has a presence now and is such a handsome fellow? We love us some Jameson.

Come on over to my other blog, if you have a moment, Ye Olde Crones Gazette and check out Ms. Baggs confession.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

For the Sweet Man who has everything............

When you get to be older than dirt, like Sweet Man and I, it kinda seems redundant to buy birthday presents for each other. So we don't. The doing nice things is so much richer and more relevant. Or at least that's the story we are sticking to.

Of course that thought process doesn't apply to enthusiastic youngsters who insist on a celebration to make Papa feel special. To me, that statement was all they had to give and I would be over the moon.

SM had a helluva day at work yesterday. Ick, blech, pffffffft. You know the kind of day when it wasn't really worth it to get up except, if ya don't show up, they get upset. Or at least that's what our generation thinks. He was a pooped puppy when he got home, an hour later than usual, which means it was a half day for him, 12 hours. That's a half day, right?

Anyway......the grands love them some Papa, and so does his daughter who always goes to the extreme for him. Love it. As he got to the front door, Ry jumped up and yelled, "we love you so much Papa so here's the Cuckoos singing you a Happy Birthday". He sounded just like an olde timey radio announcer. So cute. Like Ed McMahan he turns to us and says, Here's...............Papa. Cracks me up. Hit it girls.

Needless to say SM was grinning from ear to ear. He and his little buddy are a pair of nutz for sure and so deserve each other and their own special brand of humor.

They bought him, 2 seasons of Castle, which is one of his favorite TV shows, next to NCIS. Before I go on, I need to tell you that Ry thinks the actress that plays opposite Castle is a "hot babe". I asked him, what did you call her?. He said, "now don't tell them about us checking out the hotties when we go out, okay Papa?" Joe promised he wouldn't. Oh my.

The kids also got him a great T shirt from his all time favorite movies.....Harry Potter. He put it on over his shirt for work. Then GK made him take it off because he was gonna get it dirty and she wanted him to wear it when her friends come over on Saturday night to gather for Homecoming (and yes, I will bore you with pics and info). They got him a Chocolate overload cheesecake, cards, all the tissue paper he and the cats could fight over as he unwrapped said gifts. And I got dinner from his fave restaurant. Perfect family night.

The rest of the evening, we spent around the dining room table talking and laughing. I just love moments like that. They are my gifts from my sweet family. And do you think I remembered to take pics. Nah, I was having too much fun. Oops.


Happy Birthday yesterday Joe, you are the best friend, husband, father and Papa in the whole wide of the world and even if there are times I'd sell you to the first passing gypsy, I'd pay whatever they'd ask for me to have you back again. Having known you for all but 6 months of your life makes you my oldest friend...........nanny nanny boo boo lucky numba 13.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

And I'm gonna have acorns, someday............


Yard work chapter umteen skatey eight. Work continues. Our yard is not that big, but it was that unkempt. All the shrubs and bushes had not been trimmed or pruned in 8 years. And Shelley has become very proficient in "getting in there and getting it done".


Before I forget, here's a photo of that miniature watermelon for you Chubby Chatterbox. We decided not to eat it but rather us it as a relief pitcher kinda Halloween pumpkin, tee hee.

Ever since Shelly was a young one, she has been a huge help in the yard. Planting, trimming, weeding, deconstructing, removing, you name she can do it. Thank goodness because it has never been Sweet Man's forte. He hates, hates, hates, yard work. Always has, always will.

When he was a kid, his Dad, who was in the Corps of Engineers after a stint in the Army, would arrange work for his boys. Joe is the oldest of 8 children.  I would have run away if I'd been his Dad but his answer was to have "forced fun" as a life lesson. So he would have the boys move the lawn from the front yard to the back yard and plant a new lawn in the front. I guess it made sense to him. All I got from it is a husband who at the mention of planting or digging turns an ugly shade of grey. And he puffs up like a toad. Bless hims heart.

So it's fabulous that my girls and Ry act as my minions and do yard work right along with me with a smile on their faces. Well, mostly. GK loves to get dirty. Ry, uh not so much. I think it kinda makes him creepy crawly but he puts up with it (for a bit). When Ms G was little we built a french drain in the backyard at our old house to keep the spring rains from coming in the house. We dug a trench as deep as she was tall, she was two. Ever since, she has had this huge fascination with all things dirt, mud, and messy dirty. So here's her hands after we dug two beds in the front yard out to a depth of 6 inches down and planted 50 daffodils for next spring. She dug it out, put the bulbs in, put in new soil and tamped the whole thing in under and hour. But then she was covered with mud from head to toe, and loving it. She could of been a little less messy, but what is the fun of that, right?

looks more like warts than mud...........
Ry dug holes for the new ornamental grasses out front and replaced the rock around each one. He and Papa worked as a team, but I heard some undertones of my father in laws philosophy as they worked together. And Sweet Man actually had fun....and he and Ry also got dirty. The most fun was the traditional, "let me water you to see if you will grow more" drenching of the grands.

sea grass that I brought seeds back from our only visit to South Carolina, been going for 7 years now

looking north

couldn't resist this millet, so weirdly cool

looking south

But all this brings me to my new tree. After purchasing all the other grasses, bulbs and a few flowers, I mentioned to Shelley that we needed to think about getting a tree for the back yard so that we could have some shade on the back patio area. Now, keep in mind I was speaking about maybe next year. But Ms. I've got this covered, got on Craigslist and found someone who was selling two trees that they had overbought for their back yard and they were (pardon the pun) dirt cheap. We didn't have room for 2 so we passed on the Bradford Pear but we got an Oak tree. Yep, I'm gonna be rolling in acorns...........someday. It is about 10 ft tall. But someday it will be the mighty Oak it is destined to be. I'm hoping I get to see it cast some shade on the patio next summer and enjoying the view as the leaves turn red and gold. Exciting stuff here at Casa de Cuckoo.......you can tell I don't get out much, huh?


Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

PS there are 3 out of the 4 room tours on Ye Olde Crones Gazette for Halloween House, check it out here.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Do you have pet names for your family members?????

Last year I posted about having had no nicknames as a kid except Windy.....cuz I talked so much.

My daughter, the lovely and talented Shelley, actually goes by her nickname. Her given name was never my idea to begin with and so unless she has been in deep do do, I don't call her Michelle. She was named for her biological Dad's drinking and best buddy Michael, who everyone called Mickey. But growing up everyone called her Binky. That's my fault. I thought she looked like a Binky, teeny little critter, when she was first born and so my family called her that. Thank goodness no one every called her Mickey.

Joe's real name is Louis. I've called him Sweet Man for almost 30 of the 40 something years we've been together, as well as various un printable names in good company.....but that's a tale for another time and place.

I suppose every family has names that they choose not to share in public.

Ry has been Rucephus, Bud, Little Man, Rootin' Tootin Ru I Ay and Bubba for all his life. And I gotta sneak a Ry story here. He has terrible allergies this time of year and his eyes swell. So he gets up and his sister (the bane of his existence and his best friend) says, yeah you look Asian this morning. He looks at her and said what's Asian? She explained someone who's eyes are not rounded but rather have a slant to them. He thought for a moment and said, I don't want to be Asian......short pause, or from Kentucky. What?????? I have no idea where that came from but we have laughed everytime one of us brings it up (and Ry brings it up at every opportunity). Kentucky? I don't know, sorry Kentuckians. He is so adorable.


GK (Gerea Kaye) pronounced like Sara but with a G like{garage} Kay has family names as well. Geemanillee, Princess Tootsamany, Geefer and Baby girl. But she has a new name and I just wanted to share it with you because I'm kinda bummed I didn't think of it first. It is so very clever.

At her, oh so small, high school, where many of the teachers are married to one another, she as a straight A+ student the first 9 weeks is known for her quirky personality, inability to not voice her opinion and great sense of humor along with a burning desire to always be perfect. The teachers are very fond of her and use her good moods to tease her . Her English teacher, who is married to her art teacher, called roll and one of the other kids thought that the teacher had made a mistake and called GK Carrot cake and asked if she did. The teacher said no, but I can if she wants me to and GK said sure.


Gerea Kaye, Carrot Cake..........hmmmmm, yep it works.

So by lunch, the staff of teachers had all heard the name change and they all began calling her Carrot Cake which to some youngsters would have embarrassed or upset them but GK is thrilled. Her math teacher who tells terrible math puns everyday remarked how appropriate her name is because he has never met a carrot cake he didn't like. Awwwwww, teacher's pet much??????

Never a dull moment here at Casa de Cuckoo.....aptly named.

Ms. Baggs is showing off Halloween House on Ye Olde Crones Gazette, if you're interested.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Halloween House, the exterior.........

I hope you will enjoy seeing the Halloween House as much as I have enjoyed making it come to life.


Ms. Baggs, who helped us out with our reporting on Ye Olde Crones Gazette, back a couple of years ago, has been on assignment in the world of the Fae. Upon her timely return, she moved into the Halloween House and has been helping me get things in order. She and I will be telling you of her adventures and also introducing you to her new beau, as well as taking you on a tour of her new Autumn home.

After working on this house, I am positive that I will be building another home for Ms. Baggs and will keep you updated on the progress. We have had way too much fun with this one to not do more.

I learned so many new things. How to electrify a miniature environment. It was quite fun. At least with 12 volts your chances of electrocuting yourself are minimized by the voltage. I have in real life been thrown across a room from thinking I had the power turned off and finding out the hard way......uh nope.

I also built some of the furniture I used. I also forgot that I love to play with paint. The moon scape and the twilight with the silhouettes were the best part of the exterior.

The other posts of Halloween House will be at Ye Olde Crones Gazette and will begin on October 1.


Here is the front of the house. Ms Baggs is waiting for the trick or treaters to come to the door. In the windows and it is hard to see without the lights on (photos on YOCG coming soon) are spider webs, Help Me, pleas, black cats, and Halloween wishes. The witch's hat on the chimney and the JOL, as well as the Halloween garland all add to the ambiance of celebration. The warning on the door should be taken seriously.


The Moonscape was inspired by Judy Stearn's wonderful, and my most favorite photos of the moon.


The twilight scape with the silhouettes of the children and puppy coming to trick or treat really are my favorite touch of the season. I love tricks or treats and these little ones are gonna get some great treats at Ms. Baggs.



I will have photos with the lighting, inside the house and upclose and fun stories of the tales of Ms. Baggs in the the World of the Fae............at YOCG.

Halloween is 33 days away.